Ex-JPMorgan Trader Asks Court to Void Price-Fixing Conviction
(Bloomberg) -- A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. currency trader asked an appeals court to throw out his conviction for plotting with traders at other banks to manipulate prices of African, European and Middle Eastern currencies.
Akshay Aiyer was found guilty in 2019 of conspiring to violate antitrust laws and sentenced to eight months in prison. On Friday, his lawyer asked a federal appeals panel in New York to dismiss the case, saying that the judge at his trial failed to allow him to argue that his conduct wasn’t anticompetitive, didn’t affect currency prices and didn’t increase his profits.
“If they intended to move prices and they wanted to do it, they could have done it,” Aiyer’s attorney, Martin Klotz, said. “There was no impact on price here.”
Prosecutors asked the judges to uphold Aiyer’s conviction, saying “very little” evidence was excluded and that the conduct was illegal even if it didn’t involve most of the participants in the market.
“It is still price fixing because it rips the economic fabric of our nation,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Helen Wimberly said.
Aiyer was the second person convicted at trial in a sweeping government crackdown on collusion between currency traders.
The lower court case is U.S. v. Aiyer, 18-cr-333, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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